Friday, August 3, 2012

Spring Concert

For some, spring heralds the arrival of green leaves and flowers.  For others, it is a time to plant the garden in anticipation of summer’s bounty.  For me, spring signals the opportunity to fall asleep each night to nature’s orchestra and to awaken to her symphony in the morning. 

After a long winter, I eagerly look forward to the first warm days when I can throw open the windows and actually feel and smell the renewal spring promises.  The fresh breezes clear away the long harbored scents of winter.  

No aerosol purchased from a store can match the sweetness of a breeze floating across miles of open prairie.  (That is if the breeze doesn’t blow through a feedlot first.)  Lilacs and blooming fruit trees add ambience as their scent wafts into the house on an invisible airstream.

But scent doesn’t have anything to do with the music of spring.  It simply sets the stage for the concerts to come.  As soon as it is warm enough, I crank open the windows, hoping to capture the sounds of the season.  Since I live near water, I hope to catch the peepers celebrating their nightly courtship rituals. 

  A myriad of owls and night hawks swoop through the nearby trees searching for a late supper, announcing their success with a series of screeches and squawks--like a string section warming up.  When things settle down a bit, I listen carefully for the crickets to begin their recital. 

  It is amazing to think the simple rubbing of two bristly legs together can make music and clue the listener in to the temperature at the same time.  As the nights warm, I wait to hear the deep bass of the bull frogs calling from the creek below and the rising hum of cicadas building to a rousing crescendo.  After an evening of original music, the temperature drops, bringing the lullaby to a close.

The best of part of sleeping with an open window in the spring is the knowledge that another concert begins at dawn with entirely new orchestration.  Before I detect the first rays of sun, the birds outside my room begin their warm up exercises with isolated notes.  

It is impossible to ignore the good cheer enlivening the day, so I crawl out of bed to stand at the window where I watch my private symphony of robins, finches, jays, and larks perform.  Unaware as they seem of their audience, I think they sense my presence and sing more loudly.  This beats using an alarm clock to awaken me any day.

Life is full of simple pleasures if we know where to search.  Discovering nature’s music is as simple as opening the bedroom window on the first warm evening.  So pop the latch, pull up the shade, and settle back for some of the easiest listening around.

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